Surgery is about using manual and instrumental techniques in the operating room to diagnose and treat medical disorders. It’s extremely hands on with long hours. You could be in the operating room, standing, sweating, your brain contiously engaged without room for a 3 second break, requiring the utmost in dexterity and precision with your hands for hours upon hours.
Surgeons love it.
Just how much do surgeons make?
The median salary for all surgeons is $304,150 with the majority making between $266,532 to $361,745. If you are just starting out of residency, you might see figures more in the $226,000s. But a few years of experience will quickly bring you to the median. Medscape reports the majority of their surgeons had an income between $200,000 to over $500,000!
To become a surgeon, you need to do 5 years of a Surgery Residency. There are currently 247 residency programs offering over 1,100 spots! With that many spots though, it’s still pretty competitive. Last year, only 50% of applicants matched.
If you want to subspecialize (and earn a higher income), there are many fellowships you can choose from:
- abdominal organ transplant surgery
- mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation
- cardiovascular surgery
- colon & rectal surgery
- endocrine surgery
- general thoracic surgery
- minimally invasive surgical
- multidisciplinary breast surgery
- peripheral nerve surgery
- surgical critical care
- transplantation surgery
- urogynecology & pelvic reconstructive surgery
- vascular surgery
- pediatric surgery
Surgeons are masters at operating on your insides. Think about it, these doctors are cutting people open, moving things about, slicing and dicing, and then sealing them up thousands of times a year. It’s truly amazing.
But it’s also very time consuming and grueling. I’ve met surgeons who sometimes can’t make it home till late at night. It depends on the case or the backup of cases behind you. It’s not like you can say, “Sorry, my shift’s over, time to go!” when you’ve been walking the bowels in search for a perforation. So think about it, do an audition rotation, and if you love it, go for it.